Jennah Gunter with ESOL students

Jennah Gunter has successfully completed an internship with the English Bridge Program at Longwood’s Office of International Affairs.

Jennah, who took Professional Writing with Dr. Heather Lettner-Rust, reflects on how her studies in English and Professional Writing informed her experience:

“English majors have a particular approach to language. We receive a lot of information on a regular basis and use language as a tool to analyze and decipher what we have learned. But, with Dr. Deborah Westin’s guidance during my work with the English Bridge Program, I learned quickly that ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is quite different. Not only ESOL uses language for analysis, but it also equips students with the tools they need to navigate life in a new way. As opposed to receiving information, ESOL learners incorporate information into what they already know in their first language simultaneously.

During my time with The English Bridge Program, my internship focused mainly on lesson planning and managing study hours, but I also learned a great deal about time management and communication. ‘Plan your work, and work your plan,’ were the words Dr. Westin used when I asked for guidance on how to execute study hours. She also gave me a lesson plan template that definitely changed the direction of the internship. After making some 30 lesson plans over the course of the semester, I have a new found empathy for our professors.

I learned about ‘appreciative inquiry,’ where I would ask myself what works, and why, and how I can do things better next time. But, what I’ve found so valuable in my experience as an intern was goodwill. I used tools from my professional writing class to establish ethos and trust. I learned how to prove to my peers and superiors that I can be relied upon and trusted to make good decisions. In fact, this internship has made me realize my passion for ESOL and language learning, so I intend to pursue it in my graduate studies.”

Congratulations on the completion of your internship, Jennah!